Psychometric properties of a motor skill checklist for 3- to 5-year-old children


Wim Peersman, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences and Physiotherapy Ghent, Campus Heymans, Artevelde University College – Ghent University, De Pintelaan 185, 9000 Ghent, Belgium. E-mail:


Background  Early identification of children with developmental co-ordination disorder is important. Teachers may be very useful in this identification process. The objective of this study was to develop a motor skill checklist (MSC) for 3- to 5-year-old children to be completed by teachers, and to establish the psychometric properties of this new instrument.

Methods  An MSC of 28 functional items was constructed in close consideration with clinical experts and teachers. In regular schools, 366 pre-school children were rated with the MSC by their teachers (n= 111). To determine test–retest reliability, each teacher completed 4 weeks later the MSC again for one randomly selected child. In 22 classes with two teachers sharing the job, both teachers were asked to fill in the questionnaire. A subgroup of children was also tested with the Movement Assessment Battery for Children (M-ABC; n= 122). All teachers were invited to complete a questionnaire to evaluate the MSC.

Results  The internal consistency of the MSC was high. The test–retest reliability was good. Inter-rater reliability was adequate except in the 5-year-old children. There was a strong correlation between the checklist and the M-ABC, establishing concurrent validity. Most teachers judged the MSC as easy or rather easy to complete.

Conclusions  The MSC is a reliable, valid and useful instrument to identify and assess young children with motor difficulties.